Asian markets have opened today on a mixed note. Worries about the rising yen have clouded the Japanese markets, which have opened in red. On the other hand, markets in China, Hong Kong and Singapore have opened on a positive note. The Singapore exchange has proposed a deal worth US$ 8 bn for a possible takeover of the Australian Stock Exchange with a view to consolidate the Asian markets. The Indian markets opened in the negative. Currently, banking and IT stocks are the major losers.
Currently, the BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 40 points (-0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 11 points (-0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading positive with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices trading higher by around 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.49 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Bharti Airtel trading in green while RCOM and Idea are both trading in red. Telecom incumbent Bharti Airtel have announced that they would be launching their 3G services before the end of calendar year 2010. The company’s management is in advanced talks with other operators to be able to launch their 3G services ahead of schedule. Earlier this month, Tata Docomo announced their plans to launch 3G services by Diwali, which is in the first week of November. Other telecom operators like Vodafone, Aircel and RCOM are planning to launch 3G services by the end of the financial year. The telecom companies are in desperate need to raise their revenue per users, which have been declining due to the heated competition in the sector. They are therefore, preponing their 3G launches.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Godrej Consumers and Dabur trading in the positive. However, HUL, Colgate and Nestle are currently trading in the negative zone. FMCG major HUL announced its 2QFY11 results yesterday. Revenues grew by 12% YoY driven by a strong growth in the consumer business. Net profits (before exceptional items) declined by 7% YoY However, operating margins declined by 1.7% YoY mainly due to higher input costs as well as higher spend on advertising and promotion. The margin declined would have been more had it not been for cost savings programmes adopted by the company. The management has declared an interim dividend of Rs. 3 per share.
The company has witnessed a broad based growth across all its segments. It has successfully defended its market position despite heightened competitive activity in the FMCG space. It has also launched several new products during the quarter. However, the spend on brand building has squeezed the margins for the company.